The host introduced me as the author of Creative Followership, and his first question for me was, “How is Creative Followership different from leadership?”

That is a question I often hear.

For some reason, many people cannot think about career relationships without determining what form of leadership is involved.

My answer is, “Creative Followership is bottom up thinking.” 

The blank stares from mystified eyes are my signal to continue, and I do. “Leadership oriented thinking is top down thinking.”

Think about that for a moment.  Picture the organization as a pyramid with the leader at the apex and the followers forming the rest of the pyramid.

Creative Followers are practicing bottom up thinking.  Their focus is on supporting and boosting the leader higher to raise the level of performance of the organization.

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Typical leadership training emphasizes top down thinking.  The concept is to look down, reach down and drag up individual followers below in order to raise the level of performance of the organization.

Now, be honest with yourself.  Which is more likely to result in a more unified and higher performing organization?  Will it be the one where many followers are practicing bottom up thinking or the one where the leader is using top down thinking?

I place my bets on the organization with many Creative Followers practicing bottom up thinking!

This illustration won’t answer every question, but it should give you a clear insight into the value of Creative Followership.

Bottom Up Thinking!

I practiced it!

It worked for me!

It will work for anyone at any level of responsibility in any organization.

It will work for you!

Jimmy Collins